Mistakes and Mentors

Always remember that it won’t be those whoCAN change the world that will. It will be those who THINK they can change the world. It’s those who BELIEVE they can that will succeed. Work hard on your disposition this year. Work extra hard on your perspective and how you will “define” what happens to you even more than trying to figure out “why.”

Jesus reminds us in Matt. 6 that the “lamp of the body is the eye” And He tells us if our eye is “clear, our whole life will be filled with light. But if it is bad, we’ll be filled with darkness.”

The way you perceive life’s events can actually be more important than the event itself. By allowing a wrong perspective to leach into your heart, you can turn a victory into pride or you can turn a failure into wisdom. It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, a reason to rejoice or a reason to complain.

It’s your eye, not your boss!


Each of us has made mistakes in the past. Once a person asked me, “How many big mistakes have you made?” My answers was, “Tons of them, but the real question is ‘What have you DONE with the big mistakes?’ That is more important than the amount of mistakes.

The mistakes I made were costly mistakes, ones for which I paid a very high price. But what is far worse than paying high tuition rates is paying the price, taking the class, and failing to learn anything!

So what do you do with the mistakes?

1.Evaluate your part in all of it. (Grumbling is discussing other people’s parts in a problem). Ask yourself, “How did it come about and what did I do to enflame the problem rather then solve it? Is there an earlier expectation that I am wrongly applying to this situation? Is my insecurity showing? What about a pride that is running the show?” Investigate where you could have resolved it, where you could have left the grumbling side of the equation and moved to the resolution side? Assess what damage it did to your own psyche as well as others.

2. Then squeeze every bit of wisdom you can wrong out of that mistake. What must you do differently? What relationships do you need to restructure or rebuild? Compress every last drop of learning out of it, every last smidgen of wisdom, humility, and deposit into your heart. Learn from it and now be different!

3. Then throw the remains of the mistake over your shoulder and never look back. Never. Take the new gems of wisdom, weave it into the fabric of your heart, and become an avid student of life. Look ahead. Plan for it. Learn how to communicate better. Learn how to be humbler. Learn how to not let expectations commandeer your life, but learn to live in the reality of today. Learn that we work with fallen man, and when humans dance, they get their feet tangled. Don’t let pain trump wisdom, and don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary setback.

Finally, here is a Franciscan Prayer that will help us all:

“May God bless you with discomfort… hardened hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with tears… to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war. so that you will comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world and in your neighborhood, so that you will courageously try what you don’t think you can do, but, in Jesus Christ you’ll have the strength necessary to do.

May God bless you that you remember we are all called to continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch.”

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